Gophers women rally to edge Badgers in overtime

  • Article by: JASON HADDIX SPECIAL TO THE STAR TRIBUNE
  • Updated: March 7, 2014 - 6:37 AM

The Gophers’ third victory over Wisconsin may have clinched an NCAA tournament at-large bid.

view larger photos

  

– When the Gophers needed a big play on Thursday night, it was Rachel Banham who delivered as she has for much of the season.

The 5-9 guard kept her eyes focused to her left as if to pass, then from the right wing hit a three-pointer with 55.6 seconds to play in regulation to send the must-win game against Wisconsin to overtime.

In the extra period, she scored six points, including the final go-ahead basket with a finger-roll layup.

With a 13-7 scoring advantage in overtime, the Gophers earned the 74-68 come-from-behind victory over the Badgers in the opening round of the Big Ten women’s basketball tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

“I thought we got ourselves down in the first half,” Gophers coach Pam Borton said. “[Wisconsin] did a great job making shots in the first half they normally don’t make.”

This was just the second time in seven years the Gophers won their first game of the tournament.

The first half was troublesome for the Gophers (20-11) who shot 9-for-31 from the field. They turned it around in a big way in the second, shooting 48.5 percent.

“For me, [the shots] were not falling,” Banham said of the early struggles. “I had really good looks. I think I was pressing a little too much.”

She converted just two of her 10 shots in the first half but finished with a game-high 22 points, 15 in the second half and overtime.

The Gophers captain said that she might have been a bit tense, which led to her missing three layups after steals.

Wisconsin (10-19) led by 14 points at halftime after shooting 53 percent from the field, including six of 12 from beyond the arc.

“I think a few of us were hanging our heads [during halftime], and I was down on myself with my shots,” Banham said. “Coach came in and said to stay positive. Once the second half started we were like, ‘We have to fight, we are not losing this, we don’t want to go home.’ ”

Minnesota managed to rally around that message and clawed its way back. Kayla Hirt, who scored 14 points, hit a jumper to start a 12-2 run early in the second half. That five-minute spurt cut the Badgers’ lead to six.

Wisconsin continued to fight to maintain its lead, stretching it out to 10 twice during the final seven minutes of play.

The final run that led to Banham’s shot started with a three-pointer by Sari Noga with 2:43 left in the second half. The Gophers defense tightened and held the Badgers scoreless for the remainder of regulation.

“Rachel had great penetration, and she dished it out to me,” said Noga, who scored all nine of her points after halftime. “Once I had the open look, I had to take it, and just knowing the position we were in, those shots had to go in.”

Amanda Zahui B., the Big Ten’s freshman of the year, had her 15th double-double of the year with 12 points and 19 rebounds.

The Gophers’ late-season run allowed them to reach 20 wins for the first time since their last NCAA tournament appearance in 2009. The latest RPI report has Minnesota No. 38.

  • related content

  • Minnesota's Stabresa McDaniel, left, fights for the ball with Wisconsin's Dakota Whyte, center, and Michala Johnson.

  • Wisconsin’s Dakota Whyte and Gophers guard Sari Noga pursued a loose ball in the first half.

  • Minnesota guard Sari Noga celebrates after hitting a 3-point basket during overtime against Wisconsin in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis, Ind., Thursday, March 6, 2014. Minnesota defeated Wisconsin 74-68. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

  • Gophers guard Sari Noga celebrated after making a three-point basket during overtime against Wisconsin. Noga had nine points, all on three-pointers.

  • Gophers center Amanda Zahui B. looked for someone to pass to while being guarded by Wisconsin’s Michala Johnson.

  • big ten WOMEN’S tournament gophers 74, wisconsin 68

    Up next: 8 p.m. Friday vs. No. 16 Nebraska • Indianapolis • TV: BTN

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Yankees - M. Pineda 12:07 PM
Toronto - D. Hutchison
Detroit - M. Scherzer 12:10 PM
Chicago WSox - C. Sale
Chicago Cubs - F. Doubront 1:15 PM
St. Louis - J. Masterson
Cincinnati - A. Simon 3:05 PM
Pittsburgh - V. Worley
Minnesota - K. Gibson 6:05 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Philadelphia - J. Williams 6:10 PM
NY Mets - B. Colon
Miami - J. Cosart 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Harang
Boston - A. Webster 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - J. Odorizzi
Cleveland - T. Bauer 6:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
Detroit - K. Ryan 6:10 PM
Chicago WSox - C. Bassitt
Texas - R. Ross Jr. 6:10 PM
Houston - S. Feldman
Colorado - T. Matzek 7:10 PM
Arizona - V. Nuno
Chicago Cubs - T. Wada 7:15 PM
St. Louis - M. Gonzales
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke 7:40 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
Milwaukee - M. Fiers 8:05 PM
San Francisco - J. Peavy
Oakland - J. Samardzija 8:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Washington - S. Strasburg 8:10 PM
Seattle - R. Elias
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 0 1st Qtr 15:00
UAB 0
(7) UCLA 0 1st Qtr 12:30
Virginia 0
Western Mich 0 1st Qtr 11:30
Purdue 0
(5) Ohio State 0 1st Qtr 15:00
Navy 0
Appalachian St 0 1st Qtr 12:45
Michigan 0
Ga Southern 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Colorado 3:00 PM
Seattle
New England 4:00 PM
Toronto FC
Columbus 6:30 PM
Montreal
FC Dallas 7:30 PM
Chicago
Real Salt Lake 9:30 PM
San Jose
Portland 9:30 PM
Vancouver FC
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Chicago 6:00 PM
Indiana
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pm
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pm
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. TBA
Sep 27 - at Michigan TBA
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern TBA
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Gophers in their season opener

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close